Evaluating Medicare Part D Plans

Many people make the mistake of only looking at the monthly premium and then assume that the lowest premium is the best value. But there are several factors to consider beyond the monthly premium for Medicare Part D Plans. Other factors that you should consider include:

  • The Plans co-pays. Co-pays can vary from one Part D Plan to another. These differences can make a difference in your overall annual costs.
  • Whether or not there is an annual deductible. Medicare Part D Plans can include an annual deductible up to $310 for 2010.
  • Which tier your individual prescriptions are in. Having a low monthly premium and having some of your prescriptions listed in a higher more expense tier than another Medicare part D Plan may cost you more over the course of the year.
  • Whether or not all your drugs are included in the plan’s formulary. If a drug is not in the formulary, you will be paying for it out of pocket.
  • Is there some coverage in the coverage gap (donut hole)? Several plans include some level of coverage in the donut hole. These plans will normally have a little higher premium, but it may be worth the higher cost if you know that you will more than likely reach the donut hole.

As you can see, there are several other factors that need to be considered when you are trying to find the best Medicare Part D Plan. Take the opportunity to utilize the official resources that are available.
Also, evaluate the Medicare Part D Plan that is included in a Medicare Advantage Plan. If your prescriptions are a large part of you annual health care cost, you should evaluate the Part D plan in an Advantage Plan just as you would a stand alone Medicare Part D Plan.